Taking my baseline readings

Why do we need your baseline readings?

easy on the i graphic showing a Dr listening to someones chest using a stethoscope

If we know what you are like when you are well, we can see when things start to change. Everyone is different, so it is important that we know what is normal for you.

We want to find out what your normal temperature, your normal respiration rate and your normal oxygen saturation levels are.

These readings are called ‘baseline measurements’ and they will help us help you, and everyone who supports you, recognise when you are well and when you might be becoming unwell.

When should I take my baseline measurements?

easy on the i graphic showing a young man and a young women depicting they are healthy and well. they are smiling and have their hands on their hearts.

It is important to get these readings when you are feeling well. If you have a cold or infection you may not get an accurate result.  Please let the team know, and we will arrange to review this when you are feeling better.

How do I take my baseline measurements?

easy on the i graphic showing someone giving advice on how to do something

The following advice should help you to take these readings at home when it is convenient for you. You may find that your normal readings differ slightly during the day. Or depending on how you are positioned

What measurements do we need to take?

easy on the i graphic os a pulse oximeter attached to a finger and showing heart rate and oxygen saturation level

Oxygen levels: We measure the level of oxygen in your blood. The pulse oximeter uses the term SpO2.

Respiratory rate: We count the number of breaths taken in one minute

Easy on the i graphic showing someone with a hot face and a thermometer used to take temperature

Temperature: We take your temperature from a distance, without the thermometer comng into contact with your skin. We use a no-touch, no-contact thermometer.

All of the above numbers can be different if a person is asleep or awake and depend on their position and how active they have been so please note these things down on the form.

How to use the handheld pulse oximeter with a fingertip sensor

  • Make sure the nail is clean and free from nail polish.
  • Switch the machine on by pressing the button on the top right-hand corner of the machine.
Oximeter with pulse earlobe and temperature reader with arrow pointing to top right where on/off button is
  • Attach the lead to the machine
  • Place the sensor onto the finger. Try to keep the finger still.
Oxomiter being attached to right hand index finger
  • If the hands are cold this may affect the results.
  • If it is difficult to get a reading from the fingertip sensor, you can use the ear sensor provided
ear lobe sensor attached to lobe
  • Wait for the numbers to appear.
  • Write down the oxygen levels (Sp02%) and respiratory rate (RRp) on your recording sheet:
  • To take the temperature, place the sensor (which is located on the back of the device) about 4-5cm/1.5-2 inches away from the centre of the forehead. Hold parallel to forehead. Then press the measurement icon on the screen.        
  • Hold the device steady until you hear a beep
  • The temperature will appear on the screen as shown.  Please enter this onto the recording sheet in the appropriate box.

You can watch the video below to show you how the Oximeter works